Since we live in such a mobile world now, more and more people are taking their work, studies, and personal lives abroad. For anyone with double nationality, this process is fairly straightforward and simple. Others may just be learning about dual nationality and wondering, “Is dual citizenship allowed everywhere?”
If you are the DIY type of person, you can pursue double citizenship through various governmental agencies in the US and other countries. If you’re not, then you may want to enlist professional help.
How Does Dual Nationality Work?
Double citizenship means that you are a legal citizen of two countries at the same time without having to renounce allegiance to one or the other. With this privilege, you hold the rights and responsibilities of both nations. The United States allows its citizens to have a second nationality, but not every country does.
Depending on the nation, there are several ways that people can claim citizenship in a second country:
- Jus Sanguinis: This “right of blood” is citizenship by descent. That is, if you had ancestors who were born in a particular country, you might be eligible to gain citizenship there. Italy is one of the nations that follow this practice.
- Jus Soli: The “right of soil” confers citizenship to those born in a country, regardless of where their parents or ancestors are from. The United States follows this practice.
- Naturalization: Many nations, including the US, allow people to obtain citizenship after living in the country for a specified time. For example, after living here legally for five years, residents can apply for citizenship in America.
- Investment: Obtaining a second nationality through investment is relatively new, but it’s growing in popularity. Some countries allow a fast track to citizenship when you invest a specific amount of money in the nation.
There are many benefits to holding double nationality, especially in our modern global marketplace. Depending on where you live, you may see business and tax perks to having two citizenships. And travel can be much simpler with some passports over others, so having dual citizenship could open a lot of opportunities for you.
Where Is Dual Citizenship Allowed?
From the United States government’s perspective, you can hold another passport from any nation in the world. Unless you renounce your American citizenship or commit treason, it’s nearly impossible to lose your US citizenship.
Many governments behave similarly to the US when it comes to holding multiple citizenships. For example, Italy, Ireland, and Mexico all permit their citizens to have other passports.
Other nations, however, do not allow dual citizenship with the US. These countries include:
Before pursuing any change in your citizenship status, it is wise to consult an immigration attorney. Since the geopolitical climate can create shifts in laws and regulations, you need the most current information possible.
Some ex-pats purposely chose to renounce their US citizenship to secure a passport elsewhere. They feel that the lifestyle and financial freedom available in other countries makes it worth giving up their rights as an American.
Which Countries Offer the Easiest Path to Dual Citizenship?
Some nations make it extremely difficult and time-consuming to become a passport holder. For example, Spain requires ten years of residency before you can begin the process of gaining citizenship. And then you should plan on needing about four more years before everything is complete.
Others, however, offer much quicker paths to double nationality. Whether through birthright or investment, some countries make it quite easy to become a citizen there.
With its generous birthright citizenship laws, Italy remains one of the easiest countries to secure a second passport. There is no limit to how far back you can go to establish Italian nationality, as long as you can meet other requirements.
For example, let’s say that your great-grandparent was born in Italy and moved here as a young adult. If they didn’t naturalize in the US before giving birth to your grandparent, you are likely eligible for Italian dual citizenship.
Once approved, your Italian passport will offer access to tremendous benefits. From travel to property ownership, you will have many perks as an Italian national.
Some other countries that offer a quick and simple path to citizenship include:
What Do You Need to Pursue Dual Citizenship?
Depending on the country, you may need a monetary investment and little else to claim your new passport. But in most cases, you will have to do some legwork or hire a service to prove citizenship by descent. In general, to obtain dual nationality somewhere, you will need to take the following steps.
You likely will have to produce the following documents when pursuing dual citizenship in Italy or other countries that follow jus sanguinis.
- Your birth certificate
- Your foreign-born ancestor’s birth certificate
- US immigration records to show your ancestor’s residency here
- Proof that your ancestor did not naturalize to the US
- Your first US-born ancestor’s birth certificate
Seek Expert Translations
The country where you apply for citizenship will require you to submit documents translated into their language. Hiring a professional translator who is familiar with the immigration process is crucial.
Errors or omissions can bring your journey to a halt, costing you time and money. Be sure to hire an expert to keep this process moving forward.
Know Your Consulate
As your application progresses, you will need to make an appointment with the consulate of the nation to which you are applying. So, those seeking dual Italian citizenship will be working with their nearest Italian consulate.
Some nations may require you to work with their embassy if they do not maintain consular offices in the United States. Embassies generally are in Washington DC, while consulates may be in significant tourist locations such as New York or San Francisco.
Double Nationality with Italy Is within Reach
At Get Italian Citizenship, our team has already gone through obtaining Italian dual citizenship for ourselves. So we understand how excited you are to get started!
We help with everything from genealogical research to applying in Italy. Your dream life is at hand, so reach out today to learn more.